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During the late 4th and early 5th century, a hermit named Maron established a monastic tradition, focused on the importance of monotheism and asceticism, near the Mediterranean mountain range known as Mount Lebanon.
The monks who followed Maron spread his teachings among Lebanese in the region.
The French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, which was mostly populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims.
Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities.
These Christians came to be known as Maronites and moved into mountains to avoid religious persecution by Roman authorities.
During the 7th century the Muslim Arabs conquered Syria establishing a new regime to replace the Byzantines.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as the Arab League (1945), the Non-Aligned Movement (1961), Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (1969) and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (1973).
The new faith gained followers in the southern portion of Mount Lebanon.
With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, and gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943.
Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and armed conflict (1948 Arab–Israeli War, Lebanese Civil War 1975–1990, 2005 Cedar Revolution, 2006 Lebanon War, 2007 Lebanon conflict, 2006–08 Lebanese protests, 2008 conflict in Lebanon, and since 2011 Syrian Civil War spillover). Archaeologists discovered remnants of prehistoric huts with crushed limestone floors, primitive weapons, and burial jars left by the Neolithic and Chalcolithic fishing communities who lived on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea over 7,000 years ago.
After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Umyayad, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires.
The crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and finally to the Ottoman Empire in 1517.